Staff Spotlight- Dr Usman Naeem
In this month's Staff Spotlight, we caught up with Dr Usman Naeem who told us about his research interests, what he enjoys most about his job along with his favourite place on campus.
How long have you worked at Queen Mary and what is your current role?
I have worked at Queen Mary since 2018, where my current role is a Lecturer. I am a member of the Cognitive Science research group and the Institute of Coding steering group. I am also the co-ordinator for undergraduate and postgraduate projects.
This is my second spell at Queen Mary, as I previously worked here during 2008 and 2009, which was a temporary post while I was writing up my PhD thesis.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in Computer Science?
I chose computer science as a career as I have always been interested in how we can use technology (i.e. writing programs) to solve everyday problems.
Tell me about your research in the areas of Pervasive/Ubiquitous Computing and what you are hoping to achieve.
My research interests are within the areas of pervasive and ubiquitous computing. Much of this research is focused on understanding human behaviour from data captured via mobile sensing, which can lead to context recognition and prediction. Based on this, intervention mechanisms and proactive guidance can be provided to people, as we live in a world where we are equipped with context-aware devices (smartphones and wearables) that capture mobile sensing data. My other research interests include machine learning techniques, educational technologies, gamification and ambient intelligent environments.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I have a strong passion for teaching and it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. I believe it is important for a lecturer to explore and adopt innovative techniques for empowering students with knowledge, which can have a positive impact on student experience.
What is your greatest career or non-career achievement?
I have had many achievements (e.g. teaching awards) throughout my career, however, the most memorable achievement was completing my PhD within my allocated funding period. This was a special moment for my family, as my brother graduated with his bachelor's degree from EECS during the same year, hence the graduation ceremony was a very special family affair.
What’s your favourite place on campus?
My favourite place is the Great Hall, as I have really enjoyed teaching here and participating (both as staff and student) in the graduation ceremonies that have taken place in this great venue.
If you could tell a prospective student one thing about Queen Mary, what would it be?
Queen Mary is a fantastic institution, which has a wonderful and diverse student population. Having obtained my bachelors and PhD from this great institution, I would always recommend Queen Mary in a heartbeat…it's the best!
Do you have any unusual hobbies or pastimes outside of work?
Cricket, cricket and more cricket! I can’t wait for us all to come back to campus, as I really want to organise a EECS staff indoor cricket match. Watch this space!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Well, where do I start? This is a long list! As a boyhood Manchester United fan, the first person on the list has to be Sir Alex Ferguson!